Maintaining J-1 Status (Scholars)

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor (EV) Program is to promote cultural and educational exchange between citizens of the U.S. and those of other countries. The EV program provides opportunities to participate in exchange programs in the United States and then return home to share your experiences. The EV program is not employment, although you may be paid by Emory while participating. ISSS is responsible for administering the EV program on behalf of Emory and is authorized by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to issue immigration documents to you and authorize certain kinds of employment on your behalf.

ISSS is required to monitor your activities and report information through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to the Department of Homeland Security. To do this, we ask that your department fill out a J-1 scholar program evaluation form (PDF) every 6 months and at the conclusion of your program.

DS-2019 form

ISSS will issue appropriate documentation for you and your dependents. The Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (form DS-2019) is the document that you and your dependents will take to a U.S. consulate to apply for the J visa. The form DS-2019 has information about you and your proposed EV program, including the proposed dates of the program, personal data, source and amount of financial support, and a brief description of the program. Once issued, it is signed by an ISSS advisor who has been designated as a Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO).

When your Emory hosting department receives the DS-2019, it should check the form for accuracy. If any changes or corrections are required, the department should notify ISSS immediately. If your arrival is delayed and new program dates are required, an amended form DS-2019 must be issued. Any amended DS-2019 due to delay must be issued fewer than 30 days after the current start date on the initial DS-2019. Therefore, timely notification of any delays in your arrival is important.

You will use the DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa stamp at a U.S. consulate abroad if a visa stamp is required. Upon entry to the U.S., you will present the DS-2019, valid passport with valid J-1 visa stamp (if required) to enter the U.S. in J-1 status. The DS-2019 is an extremely important document, and only designated ROs or AROs within ISSS may sign them. You are required to keep the original DS-2019 as evidence of your lawful J-1 status. 

Maintaining status

You must attend a scholar orientation in the ISSS office within one week of arriving at Emory, where you will receive a Memorandum of Understanding that will detail your responsibilities in maintaining your J-1 nonimmigrant status. An ISSS scholar advisor will explain all the items on the Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that you understand your responsibilities.

If you have any questions or require advice regarding your responsibilities during the course of your stay, please bring these to the attention of an ISSS scholar advisor. Do not seek advice from well-meaning colleagues at Emory who may or may not be aware of current rules and regulations governing the EV program. Below is a summary of your responsibilities.

If you are an EV in the the Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, or Non-degree Student in a Prescribed Course of Study category, you may enroll in classes, research, or other activities in which you receive academic credit only on a part-time basis (as defined by the registrar). In academic programs that do not grant credit hours, your academic record in OPUS must indicate that you are part time. You can enroll in a degree program if it can be accomplished through part-time enrollment. If enrollment in classes and other academic activities or a degree program becomes your primary objective, J-1 status as a scholar is no longer appropriate, and you will be required to apply for a change of non-immigrant status or apply for a different visa abroad.